Ron Duggan enjoys the challenge and the camaraderie that comes with hosting the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout at Captain Ron’s on the west side. But as much as the fun and excitement, Duggan looks forward to the opportunity to host an event that gives back to the community not only by providing an awesome racing event but the donations that local charities receive that help support programs and services.

Ron Duggan enjoys the challenge and the camaraderie that comes with hosting the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout at Captain Ron’s on the west side. But as much as the fun and excitement, Duggan looks forward to the opportunity to host an event that gives back to the community not only by providing an awesome racing event but the donations that local charities receive that help support programs and services.

Way back when, the Shootout’s home venue was Shooter’s 21 at the 21-mile marker. The first race saw a top speed of about 100 miles an hour.

That first race got the locals fired up and laid the foundation for what has become the country’s largest unsanctioned boat race. That enthusiasm has been the driving force for the races and the evolution of a fundraising campaign that has passed on more than $1 million since moving to Captain Ron’s.

The Shootout changed course in 2008 when the event moved to Captain Ron’s. The move, seen by some at the time as a mistake, has turned out to be not only incredibly successful but has brought about a huge volunteer effort to man the races and support charities.

“We had just had our first season at Captain Ron’s and it was very successful. I was invited over to Shooters 21 by then Sunrise Beach Fire Chief John Suellentrop to see how the Shootout operated and he informed me they were going to have to move the Shootout because Shooters 21 was going to be torn down,” Duggan recalled.  “We talked about our location being a great spot for it. I reached out to several of my friends and business associates and we all agreed to put something together to try and land this event.”

Despite a few who said it couldn’t be done, Duggan and his crew did it. And they did it well. Since the move, the Shootout has experienced tremendous success, growing the number of participants and spectators with every event. Always held the last weekend in August, the Shootout is one last big event before the summer season comes to an end.

The 30th anniversary signifies the longevity of this event and what it means to the Lake of the Ozarks and to people all around the country. Just a really special event that does so much good for so many people, Duggan said.

“This event is like no others in the powerboating community. It showcases every type of boat there is and people who love boats, love this event for that. It’s also a chance to see friends that they only get to see once a year. The powerboat community is a very close group of people.  Everyone knows each other and it’s a great opportunity to see each other. We will have over 700 volunteers this year that will log in over 7,500 hours. Not to mention the time the committee, board of directors and now our new executive director put in all year long,” Duggan said.  “It’s a year round job to plan and organize this event.”

Duggan is involved in all aspects of the Shooutout planning and during race week, he’s right there with the volunteers making sure everything is taken care. Duggan has even tried his had at racing … once. The first year the Shootout moved to Captain Ron’s, Duggan said he couldn’t resist the desire to find out what it felt like to take the throttles. While he and his family are definitely lake lovers, racing wasn’t on his to-do list until the race moved to Captain Ron’s. When the Duggans head out on the water, it’s in their 29-foot Fountain Fever to spend the day in a quiet cove tubing and swimming or riding wave runners. But that first year, he decided he wanted to experience the Shootout in the truest sense.

“I wanted to see what it was all about. I had no idea what I was doing and after my blistering run of 66 mph, I got a lot of advice from the professionals. It was truly a rush even at that speed,” he said.

A couple things that really stand out for Duggan other than giving racing a try was first year. When they actually pulled the event off, he said it was really exciting. “Everyone around the lake said that we couldn’t do it, and we did.

And in year two when we added a bunch of new events, handed out more money and when Dave Scott hit 196 mph and legitimized our course,” those were milestones for the Shootout as was when the Spirt of Qatar hit an unbelievable 244 mph. And while those are exciting memories Duggan will always look back on, it’s the giving back and people that he has had the pleasure of meeting that mean the most.

“The most exciting thing about the Shootout for me is handing out checks after it’s all said and done. It is very rewarding. However, the friendships that we have made through the Shootout will be everlasting, he said.